The ultimate Kurt Cobain experience

Thursday 28 March, 7.30pm at the Wild Beast Lair

Today was an interesting day, as it took me to Aberdeen, hometown of Mr Kurt Cobain, to let my inner fan girl party. Now, people might be surprised to find out that I’m not actually that much into ‘stalking’ these places. They always make me feel a bit depressed. I’m a happy Nirvana fan. I love their music because they rock and it’s fun to jump around to it, not because I have deep-sitting problems and I feel Kurt is speaking for me. That goes for most of the grunge bands, really. It’s actually The Cure’s music that escorted me through heart-break and the angst that came with growing up and older.

So, anyway, I’m really more into hearing the stories of people who are still alive and have fun things to talk about, like Chad being there when the Berlin Wall came down, or finding out who played with who in a band (this place is seriously incestuous when it comes to that). And going into Aberdeen and seeing how fucked up that place is, is far removed from being fun. I could really feel why they so desperately wanted to get out of there. It’s grey and lifeless and boring. I barely saw any kids at all. There used to be a lot of timber industry when Kurt grew up here, but it’s all gone bust since then and people are unemployed, on benefits and highly disillusioned. Actually, having gone from the Peninsula islands to Seattle, Olympia and Montesano and finally Aberdeen within a couple of days, the difference of life standard, openness and friendliness of people were really noticeable.

Aberdeen WA

Aberdeen WA

Aberdeen WA
Around Aberdeen

But first I got my Seattle tattoo from Tomcat Tattoo Studio in Aberdeen. It amuses me how that sounds. It was done by Chelsey, one of Ben’s friends, which added to the magic. Before that we had a calorie-packed breakfast at Jack In A Box – my hunger for American fast food is definitely stilled. I’d love to eat a salad right now; I can feel my clothes getting tighter every day 🙂

Tom Cat Tattoo Studio

Chelsea at Tomcat Tattoo Studio in Aberdeen

My Seattle tattoo
That’s a wrap!

So then we drove past all the Cobain addresses we’d researched in the morning – most of them normal American buildings, nothing special, probably more run down than in other places. We also stopped by Dale Crover’s house where Kurt is said to have slept on the porch in a carton box, only there was no porch to speak of. I’m coming to the conclusion that’s just a bunch of myths that people pulled out of their arses to make things more interesting.

Kurt Cobain's house in Aberdeen
Kurt’s house
Kurt Cobain's neighbours in Aberdeen
Kurt’s neighbours house
Dale Grover's house in Aberdeen
Dale Grover’s house – the porch has gone AWOL
Matt Lukin's house in Aberdeen
Seems like Matt Lukin was the luckiest of all

Eventually we arrived at the Kurt Cobain memorial park, next to the bridge where he supposedly slept rough – another myth, as far as I can tell. The place looks like a normal spot for teenagers to meet up, smoke pot, drink beer and just hang out in the summer, without being bothered by adults. Now, of course, it’s covered in graffiti dedicated to Kurt. There are a few plaques and arty memorials but it was more the haunting feeling from the river and the surrounding woods that gave me a bit of the creeps. Also, it had finally started to rain and that didn’t help the depressing atmosphere. I’m really not someone for memorials. I’m glad I’ve seen it but it’s not a place I’d want to desperately visit again. The last stop was Gray Harbor hospital, where Kurt and Ben were born. The sun had come out and the view from the hill where the hospital is standing was amazing. You could see the Pacific Ocean and just lots of wood on the horizon, there was still a lot of industry about and then the forlorn houses that make Aberdeen the sad place it is.

Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in Aberdeen

Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in Aberdeen

Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in Aberdeen

Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in Aberdeen

Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in Aberdeen

Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in Aberdeen

Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in Aberdeen

Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in Aberdeen

Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in Aberdeen
Kurt Cobain’s Memorial Park – haunting teen spirit

On our way back, we stopped at Matt Lukin’s and Buzz Osborne’s childhood homes which was much more fun. The thought of Mr Lukin always cheers me up and King Buzzo turned out to be a rich kid – I hadn’t expected that. Oh, and I got to shop in a couple of Thriftway stores (that’s massive second hand shops for Europeans). 50% off Thriftway goods – well, I’m right in there. Needless to say a couple of flannels went home with me; it just had to be done.

The Melvin's Melvan
Oops – stumbled over The Melvin’s Melvan

I also got to meet Ben’s lovely mum and now I’m at his band practice. They’re very loud; I think I might be getting old 😉 … Ooh, and his friend’s home-brewed blonde needs a mention. Very, very yummy!

Rocking out

A homebrew blonde
Loud music and a yummy homebrew blonde

So, a day of many impressions. I’m glad I got to see it all and meeting Ben’s lovely friends and hearing his band play puts the icing on the cake. Tomorrow I’ll be back in Seattle. Let’s see what’s happening there on a Friday night!


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